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Comment Re:Hearing aids have been discussed before (Score 2) 183

I'm wondering if the gradual loss of hearing fidelity with age is one part of the reason why most people at a certain age stop listening to new music. The music they already listen to is adjusted by their minds to sound like it used to, but new music sounds bad because their ears lack the ability to hear it properly.

Comment Re:Just use Postgresql (Score 1) 336

There are really two competing architectures here. One is to use a powerful db, know it really well, and tune every query and every schema change so load is managed well. Stack exchange runs 100 million page views a month off of a handful of sql server instances with such an approach. The entire stackoverflow.com site basically runs on one well-tended database.

The other one is that of using the db as a dumb data store, hidden behind an api. The api hides the fact that you have dozens of sharded mysql instances behind the scenes. You can care less about query performance and throw code against the wall faster, but growing comes at a bigger hardware cost. Digg manages comparable loads to stack exchange using a few dozen mysql instances this way. I believe facebook is even running on something like a thousand mysql instances.

The second strategy is very much a case of "worse is better". Yes, you need more hardware, but you only need to buy it when you have the users (and revenue) to match, whereas the expertise in the first strategy is an upfront investment. This is why you'll see many startups doing the second strategy. They can't afford to know better.

Comment Re:Yuck! (Score 1) 277

HTML5 appcache. It's not well known, but you can build web apps that "install" their code locally and keep running when the network is down or slow. IE is the only browser that doesn't support it, but IE10 will rectify that.

I just built an offline mobile web app using appcache. Works just fine. I was even able to show a progress bar to the user while downloading application updates. It's just like the abilities you get from native apps, except that updates are installed automatically (without user intervention or action).

Comment Re:Business 101 (Score 1) 660

It has to not be able to load books that are purchased from your company. So, you can either sell the books or you can sell the reader, but not both.

Or you could build it as a web app. I've made a proof of concept before, even with offline support. Amazon could ship kindle to iOS as a pure web app, without being in the iOS store.

Comment Re:Business 101 (Score 1) 660

Which is why I am hoping the kindle app gets pulled. Up to this point the "locked down" aspect of iOS hasn't been really felt by the users, but not having kindle purchases would be noticeable.

On the other hand, apple is clearly building a walled garden. Perhaps their whole intention is to make amazon leave iOS, and they're betting that users won't mind being forced to use iBooks.

Comment Re:No such Agency. wants what is best for the coun (Score 2) 377

Can you claim zero remote code vulnerability in linux, despite it being open source?

Having the source is meaningless when it consists of tens or hundreds of millions of lines of code. Back of the envelope calculations indicate that it would take you about 500 years to review 100 million lines of code, provided 8 hours a day are spent on it, every day. And then there's the bootstrapping issue. How can you be sure that the binary components you use to bootstrap the OS (be they executables or just a compiler) actually are secure?

In short, the only security metric that matters for operating systems is "do i trust my vendor?". Having the source doesn't buy you a single bit of security.

If you don't think microsoft can be trusted, I would have to ask why. Granted, in the 90's they had an awful track record, but if I look at the past decade, I see a business that "gets it" when it comes to security.

Comment Re:The Limit Use of the Administrator Account seem (Score 2) 377

This is what frustrates me most. In my experience, the actual incidence of malware being installed without the user's knowing is close to zero these days. Since Vista, whenever I've heard of someone who got a virus it turned out that they were actually clearly warned that they were doing something very dangerous, sometimes even their antivirus software protested that it was a virus, and still they click continue. Why? Free movies online! Just download this video plugin first!

Users cannot be relied upon to make security decisions. The only way to make a secure OS is to remove the human factor, to take away all decision power for installing malware, which means you have to prevent them from installing anything that's not from a curated app store. In short, although it pains me to admit it, apple's model is the only one that can be truly secure.

Comment Re:So... (Score 2) 377

Or (5) like in any large organization there's no mastermind that controls all the NSA's actions, and this is a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Someone could be honestly arguing in favor of better security for end users, while another part of the organization is working to undermine that. The question is: which of the two sides sent out this advice?

Comment Re:Going for a run or a ride... (Score 1) 222

I find my efficiency increases by sequentializing the tasks into a stream. Research I've read seems to back this up. We're not meant to do a lot of context switching (the brain sucks at context switching). That's also why it's better to group tasks together by subject matter, even if that means you'll do a low priority task before a high priority one.

Comment Emulation? (Score 1) 426

Wouldn't it be better to use the emulation route? For example, writing a program for the original gameboy, and running it through the emulator. I remember at university we learned assembly on an emulated MIPS. We could focus on the individual instructions, on hardware that was simple and clean, but it all ran on the unix servers (x terminals).

Comment Re:Human nature (Score 2, Insightful) 276

Governments can't hold on to infrastructure that can be exploited commercially. Whether it's buildings or cable networks, eventually it gets sold off to balance that year's budget. The belgian government went on a decade-long selling spree to balance a structurally unbalanced budget, and the consequence is that now there are gigantic budget issues and the government needs to make the deepest cuts in the history of the country.

In other words, just another typical government.

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"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759